South Australia will be home to Australia’s first commercially produced electric aircraft, with Adelaide-based Bader Aero already taking orders for their new plane. The E22 Spark aircraft was unveiled to the public for the first time at this weekend’s Adelaide Motorsport Festival as part of RAA’s e-motions display in Victoria Park.
The company is the brainchild of Barrie Rogers, Sue Mulrayan, Gus Wrethman and Michael Monck, who have been looking to introduce electric aircraft technology to Australian skies for several years. Barrie in 2021 completed the world’s longest ever multi-day flight of an electric aircraft in South Australia. The company has adapted a well-known European airframe and fitted it with cutting-edge electric motor technology.
Chief Commercial Officer Barrie Rogers, said the aircraft was a potential game changer for aviation in Australia, particularly for flight training. “The aircraft is a two-seater with a flight time of up to 1½ hours. That makes it ideal for training purposes, particularly circuit training, which is a key requirement for obtaining a pilot’s licence,” Rogers said. “We already have an agreement with Parafield Airport-based Hartwig Air to produce up to six of these aircraft for flight training purposes, and we’ve received interest from elsewhere in Australia as well as an initial order from New Zealand. The aircraft uses lithium ion battery technology. We’ve made significant strides in reducing the weight, which is a key consideration in the development of this aircraft, and we’ll keep improving and refining the aircraft through ongoing research and development. If just 1 per cent of the flight training fleet were powered by electricity, in a single year we could offset 58,000 tonnes of CO2e emissions. This is equivalent to the emissions produced from powering 11,285 homes for a year.”
The E22 Spark boasts a 49-inch wide cabin (2-seater), leather seats and is equipped with a full suite of immersive avionics. Features of the aircraft include quick charge capability, a full glass cockpit and ergonomic controls, 100-plus KW Australian-made motors with stackable options for redundancy and a modular motor and battery configurations allowing rapid changeout of key components.